There was 366 deaths connected to fires in Ireland between 2005 and 2014. In the cases where fire authorities were able to identify the main cause of fires, smoking was responsible for 25% of fires and electrical appliances were responsible for 18%, according to research by the Department of the Environment. Most fires started in the bedroom (30%) and in the livingroom (25%).
Check out our infographic for some of the best ways to prevent a fire in your home.
Many fires can be prevented with some simple precautions. Further to our infographic we’ve looked at some more do’s and don’ts when it comes to fire safety in the home.
Have smoke alarms installed at a minimum on each floor, and a heat detector in the kitchen. Change the batteries every year and test monthly. Make sure to keep spare batteries handy. That beeping noise that you hear when a battery needs changing is meant to be annoying.
Have carbon monoxide alarms in rooms throughout the house. Carbon Monoxide is known as the silent killer as it is colourless, odourless and tasteless, but it is also highly combustible.
Invest in a fire extinguisher. A dry powder fire extinguisher would be a good choice as it is safe to use on textiles, wood, flammable liquids and gases and electrical fires. For the kitchen buy a fire blanket that you can throw over a pan that is on fire. A wet chemical fire extinguisher is the only extinguisher that you can use on a fat or oil fire.
Clean the lint trap in your dryer. Dryer lint is the cause of many fires in the home.
Have wiring inspected by an electrician. You should especially do this if you find your breakers are tripping or that fuses are blowing frequently.
Have natural gas appliances inspected and serviced every year.
Get into the habit of plugging out appliances when you go to bed, especially things like convector heaters, chargers for phones, hair straighteners, curling irons and Christmas tree lights. Take the plug out of the socket, rather than just turning off the switch.
Don’t smoke when you are tired or lying down, and definitely do not smoke in bed. For safety sake, smoke outside.
Don’t dry clothes by the fire, or if you do, don’t leave them unattended.
Don’t store flammable liquids such as petrol for a lawnmower or paint thinners in the house. Leave them outside or in the shed. Unless the shed is attached to the house.
Don’t leave your cooking unattended. Turn off hobs if you have to leave the kitchen.
Don’t leave candles unattended. In fact, try to avoid candles altogether if you can. Candles are great when you are in the mood for a little romance, but on occasion have been known to burn houses to the ground, which tends to put a dampener on things.
Don’t overload extension leads. This is very important.
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